John J. Hight.

History of the Fifty-eighth regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry. Its organization, campaigns and battles from 1861 to 1865 online

. (page 29 of 47)
Online LibraryJohn J. HightHistory of the Fifty-eighth regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry. Its organization, campaigns and battles from 1861 to 1865 → online text (page 29 of 47)
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fifty-j:ighth Indiana kegiment. ;un

the E. & C. railroad. Abe is young and healthy, and full of
gas. He camped with Captain \^oorhees, an old acquaint-
ance. The boys determined to play a prank on him, espec-
ially as he seemed to have no business in the army, and
talked insultingly about the soldiers' families.

So, one evening, while quietly walking beyond Peach Tree
Creek, in compan}^ with Captain \^oorhees, the conversation
turned on the subject of guerillas. He seemed to dread them
much. He labored under the impression that deserted
houses and barns were full of them. He seemed to think
that a soldier was liable to be shot at an}' time by them.

Suddenh', from the brush, came a voice, commanding
"Halt !" "Halt ! " repeated the voice, and a pistol snapped.
It was enough. Westfall wheeled and fled like a chased
stag in the forest. Bang ! went a pistol. Voorhees did all
he could to keep up, while the "guerrillas" gave pursuit.
Westfairs desires ran ahead of his legs and down he came
to the earth. "Oh ! oh I oh I " came in most pitiful accents
iVom his lips — ave, from his inmost soul — as he went down.
Bounding up again, he fairly flew towards camp, while the
crack of a pistol told of the coming of the "bloody gueril-
las." When he reached Peach Tree Creek, where a number
of our men were bathing, he ran into the bushes and fell
down, exhausted. A moment after. Captain Voorhees came
up and called him out. In attempting to walk a log over
tlie creek he lell into the stream. From this, he was res-
cued bv a soldier. Just on this side of the creek, and near
camp, there are some breastworks. Westfall, when he
reached these, panting, said, "Let — us — hide — here I " and
down he sat. But no sooner had he reached the ground than
he jumped up again, "O, Jake," he cried, "lets go farther,
we are not far enough yet." So on they came, Westfall
panting and almost dead, while Voorhees was ready to burst
with laughter.

When the Captain's quarters were reached W^estfall threw
his hands about a little pine tree and began to vomit like a
sea-sick mariner. He sank exhausted on a cot, while Cap-


tain \'o()rhees ran over to the doctor's for some whisky, to
keep the man from dying.

As soon as Westfall recovered and realized his safety, he
began to recount his adventure, "The balls whizzed b\'
me,'' he said, when, as a matter of fact, the pistols were
loaded with paper wads. The boys got a good joke on
Henry Hill, of Company C. He was beyond the creek, but
not in the secret. Seeing the race, and hearing the tiring,
he ran, too, full tilt, into Peach Tree creek, and over to
camp. Next morning Abe Westfall left early for the North.
Bvit he was neither a wiser nor a sadder man. He never
dreamed of the guerilla affair being a farce. He verily
believed that they were after him, and that he was the hero
of a tragic story, to be repeated to wondering admirers when
he reached home.

During my sickness, our meetings went on just as well as
if I had been able to attend them. Private P. W. Wallace
preached a time or two. Several prayer meetings were
held. We have a number of good men in the 58th Regi-

On Saturday afternoon our baggage came up from Chat-
tanooga. There were several tents, a numl^er of ilies, the
desks, valises, etc. Qiiartermaster Sergeant A. M. Bryant,
and a niunl^er of men, came up with it.


On Furlough — A Chapter Pertaining to Personal
Matters — Delays and Discomforts of Travel
BY Rail — At Chattanooga — At Nashville — x\t
Louisville — At Home — How the Time was Spent
— What I Saw and Heard — Ho\\' I Got Back to
MY Regiment.

WITH deep regret on Sunda}^ July 31st, I applied for a
leave of absence. This was granted on August 2d,
and was received on the 6th. I prefer going home well.
It is something of a disgrace to be sick in the army.

The following is a copy of my request tor leave of absence,
with the surgeon's certificate annexed :

Headquarters 5STH Indiana Regiment, }
DeFour's Ferry, Ga., July 31, 1864. \
Brigadier-General Whipple,

A. A. G. and Chief of Staff".
Sir: I would respectfuUj' ask for a leave of absence, to visit my home in
Indiana, for reasons set forth in the appended surgeon's certificate.
I am respectfully your obedient servant.


Chaplain 5Sth Ind. Vol.

I iiercby certify that I have carefully examined the said officer, ]. J.
Ilight, Chaplain ^Sth Indiana, who has been under my care for the last (4)
four weeks and find him sutTering from diarrhtva and general debilit}', and,
in my opinion, a change of diet and climate, is, in a great measure, essential
to his recovery. I would, therefore, respectfully recommend that a leave of
(20) twenty days be granted him.

I ani respectfully your obedient servant,


Surgeon ^Sth Ind. ^'ol.


Sunday, August 7. — I rose at daV. and made mv prepa-
rations for goin

Online LibraryJohn J. HightHistory of the Fifty-eighth regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry. Its organization, campaigns and battles from 1861 to 1865 → online text (page 29 of 47)